Assumption of Mary


Tomorrow, August 15, is the day when we in the Catholic Church celebrate the Assumption. The Assumption was the event at which Mary, after living out her earthly life, was taken up into heaven body and spirit. The Eastern Orthodox also celebrate this day, which they call the Dormition.

By receiving her physical body and ascending into heaven, Mary did what all of the saved will do at the end of time. In this way, as in so much else, she is a sign of hope for us and an exemplar.

As the Second Vatican Council taught in 1964,

In the bodily and spiritual glory which she possesses in heaven, the Mother of Jesus continues in this present world as the image and first flowering of the Church as she is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise, Mary shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, as a sign of sure hope and solace for the pilgrim People of God.


2 Responses

  1. What are the scriptural bases for believing that Mary’s body is in the spiritual realm? Are they same for those who believe that the righteous will be translated physically to that world at the “Rapture”?

  2. The Bible doesn’t say Mary is embodied in heaven. In contrast to Protestants, the Catholic Church does not believe that revelation is limited to what is explicitly written in the Bible.

    We also don’t believe in the Rapture the way it is popularly imagined by some (probably a minority) of Protestants. It is important to keep in mind that the doctrine of the Rapture only arose in the nineteenth century.

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